Ghost of ISIS follows Yezidi children in refugee camps

Displaced Yezidi women and children. File photo

ARA News

Derik, Syria – Subsequent to the atrocities committed by militant fighters of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) against the Yezidi Kurdish minority in northern Iraq, many Yezidi children who were displaced with some family members from the Shingal area took shelter in the Newroz refugee camp in the countryside of Derik (Malikiya) in Hasakah province, northeastern Syria.

The Yezidi refugee children suffer severe psychological problems, medical sources in the camp reported. 

The Newroz Camp, which is run by the PYD-linked Auto-Administration and members of the Executive Office of Hasakah province, suffers a sharp shortage of basic medical services.

“You can see the misery and trauma of war on the faces of those children in the camp,” one of the administrators told ARA News.

A psychiatrist in the camp stated to ARA News (under the condition of anonymity) that the traumatic events  experienced by the Yezidi children and the poor physical conditions have left serious psychological impacts, “which will most likely influence their intellectual and emotional progress. 

“Although the camp is provided with activities like sport and education under the supervision of trained specialists, the lack of psychological assistance has caused a vacuum in the available services,” he explained.

Speaking to ARA News in the camp, Mustafa Khatib, teacher in the camp’s Educational Center, said that, during classes, children keep posing the question: “When are we returning home and study in our previous schools?” 

Parents are also concerned about the deteriorating psychological state of their children, hoping to get rid of the miserable life of the camps soon and return to their hometowns from which they were displaced. 

“Despite the terrorism my children experienced under ISIS attacks, they are still dreaming of the day to return home, clinging to their right of living in peace,” Hussein Murad, a father in the camp, told ARA News.

He pointed out that the only treatment for this mental state is their return to their normal lives at their homes, where they were born, away from the war and refugee life. 

The radical group of Islamic State launched in August, 2014, a major offensive on the Yezidi area of the Shingal in Nineveh province, northwest of Iraq, committing atrocities against civilians, taking hundreds of women as captives, and forcing thousands to escape their homes. 


Reporting by: Mir Jacob

Source: ARA News


  1. Dr Amy L Beam
    March 19, 2015 at 5:30 am

    ISIS took over 5000 women and girls, not “hundreds”.

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